1 Cell battery LED flasher circuits

The LED flasher circuits below operate on a single 1.5 volt battery. The circuit on the upper right uses the popular LM3909 LED flasher IC and requires only a timing capacitor and LED. The top left circuit, designed by Andre De-Guerin illustrates using a 100uF capacitor to double the battery voltage to obtain 3 volts for the LED. Two sections of a 74HC04 hex inverter are used as a squarewave oscillator that establishes the flash rate while a third section is used as a buffer that charges the capacitor in series with a 470 ohm resistor while the buffer output is at +1.5 volts. When the buffer output switches to ground (zero volts) the charged capacitor is placed in series with the LED and the battery which supplies enough voltage to illuminate the LED.
1 Cell battery LED flasher circuits - schematic

The LED current is approximately 3 mA, so a high brightness LED is recommended. In the other two circuits, the same voltage doubling principle is used with the addition of a transistor to allow the capacitor to discharge faster and supply a greater current (about 40 mA peak). A larger capacitor (1000uF) in series with a 33 ohm resistor would increase the flash duration to about 50mS. The discrete 3 transistor circuit at the lower right would need a resistor (about 5K) in series with the 1uF capacitor to widen the pulse width.

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